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Heart Of The Country
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Heart Of The Country

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  265 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Follows the lives of cowboys, buffalo hunters, Indians, pioneers, and enterprising women across the frontier of the Great Plains, in an epic tale of trials, travails, and heroes in the American West. Reprint.
Paperback, 704 pages
Published December 1st 1997 by Pinnacle (first published April 17th 1986)
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(showing 1-30)
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On the washstand by his bed lay a small shaving mirror. Joe picked it up and examined his face. I'm only fifteen, he told himself. I've got years and years of life ahead of me. He wondered how it was possible to endure life until old age and death. What kept people sane for so long? How did others manage it? The answer, of course, was simple: other people were not hunchbacks.

In the mid-1800s, a prominent St. Louis doctor brings home a half-breed infant who was left in a churchyard, and his life
Cindy Bouchard
May 21, 2012 Cindy Bouchard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Waiting impatiently for this wonderful, amazing, sorrowful, fateful book to be on kindle. Loved it when I read it years ago. Not a light-hearted read or for those who expect a fairy tale. Greg Matthews writes as clean as Larry McMurtry with the nostalgia of Robert McCammon. This book is possibly the most underrated book EVER.
Sep 16, 2012 Shawn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This could have been a better book if there would have been one decent likeable character. The hero of the story is a deeply resentful and troubled man who I could not warm to. He carries a deep and bitter resentment though life due to becoming a hunchback as a child and he can never rise to a place of acceptance. He hurts too many people throughout his life to feel sorry for him in the end. The writing is excellent and it was an easy read. I enjoyed the references to classic literature sprinkle ...more
Sherry Crane
This story showed so much heart ache and struggle for this young man who didn't look like everyone else. His life was rough. It wasn't a happy book but I couldn't put it down. I'm glad I read it. People sure struggled back then and a life could be snuffed out easily.
Paul Myrvold
Apr 27, 2011 Paul Myrvold rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A most unique western adventure with a totally unusual anti-hero an orphaned, hunchbacked, half-breed buffalo killer. It's a don't miss.
Dec 03, 2013 Rich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, western
A melancholy book focusing on tragic loss and missed opportunities. This book is not for the faint of heart. It's not a book of "happily ever afters" but is masterfully written and really drives at the heart of human nature with stories of avarice, jealousy, and hubris. This is a book very much written in the classical style of a well done tragedy.

The main story is about Joe Cobden, half-Native American, hunchback who is spurned by society despite his incredible intellect and need for empathy de
Jan 28, 2013 Julia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book off a reading list in high school. While it is depressing it is also amazing. I highly recommend it. Once it's available via Kindle I'll be reading it again.
Jan 02, 2011 Troy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A hunchbacked buffalo hunter conquers the American west. One of the few books I reread every two or three years.
Sep 27, 2009 Rosemary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, authentic, American history of the West.
Dec 26, 2016 Susan rated it really liked it
Hey, it took a month but was so worth it! Seven hundred pages with small writing was a daunting task to start with, but I didn't struggle at all with this one. It kept my attention the whole way through. Kind of different from my genre of preference, but so very good. The writing in this book was impeccable. Sometimes I enjoy reading a novel that actually teaches me new words -- now if I can just retain them!
3.5 Stars. There is a dry, wry humor to this book about everyday people with their narrow minded assumptions guiding how they judge those who are different. This is my second time through the book, and almost two decades later it still feels "true" and states effectively man's inhumanity to man.
John Copeland
Jan 08, 2017 John Copeland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read it!

An excellent story about buffalo, difficult people, hard times and the Kansas prairie. At times the book reads like a fever dream. The author gives vibrant life to an era that I'd like to know more about.
Nov 12, 2016 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tragic, dark, gritty, harsh—but very well written and compelling all the same. I need a fix of wholesome good cheer now, but I'm not sorry I read it.
This is a sprawling, profane, and beautiful novel of the Old West. It is shockingly beautiful and tragic, often at the same time. In general, it reminds me somewhat of "Little Big Man." I liked ot.
David Ridgway
Nov 08, 2016 David Ridgway rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Not just a western but a literary phenomenon! Buy this book immediately
Sheila Lowe
Oct 16, 2016 Sheila Lowe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story follows the life of Joe Cogden, a half-Indian hunchback born before the Civil War and people he meets along the way. The story draws you in--I couldn't put it down.
Ryan Matthews
Sep 23, 2016 Ryan Matthews rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Greg Matthews is easily comparable to some greats such as Mark Twain or Stephen King in that his characters are lusciously filled with depth and realism and overall his books are heavily character driven. He also captures your attention immediately and refuses with utmost pride to write a cliche. Dark and twisted is his taste. This story beautifully intertwines and breaks apart only to twist and recombine and split paths multiple times and reconnect at the end for a very satisfying read. Only b ...more
Rachel V.
This is a gritty, harsh, western story. The main character, Joe, is a half white, half Native American who miraculously survives being born on the open prairie to a dying mother and is then later abandoned by his father. After he is adopted by a well meaning man it turns out that he has Kyphosis, and at that time called a hunchback. Between his condition and his race he is treated poorly and made fun of till it makes him bitter, depressed, and at times just mean. Not happy at home, he decides t ...more
Mar 26, 2009 Sandy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was absolutely the most depressing book I have ever read! It seems nothing good happened to any of the characters. I kept reading it in the hopes that eventually someone would find happiness in life. Set in Kansas in the late 1800's the story follows a half-breed Indian raised by a doctor whose wife was mad. Granted much of the story probably was true of that period of time, but hopefully most of our ancestors fared better.
Sep 06, 2016 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a love hate relationship with this book. It is very long and is filled with little action. The characters are all disreputable and I couldn't find any that I liked. The book is as depressing as any I have read. I usually don't finish a book that only gets three stars. However, I was compelled to finish this book. In some strange way, I am glad that I read it.
Bob Stuhlsatz
This was an interesting book that I enjoyed reading. Unlike many historical-fiction books this book wasn't quite as believable, as written. Despite that, it is well written and, in pieces, is very believable.
Nov 07, 2015 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extremely well written. Matthews can write of the intricate details of thoughts of everyday human interaction. Though this story is a tragic commentary of the dark side of these situations and their unfortunate (no character in this story is fortunate) outcomes.
Dec 04, 2009 Dennis rated it it was ok
It's been a long time sonce I read this, but it was one of the strangest books I ever read. Didnt seem to really go anywhere with the story.
Cindy Bergeron
It was well written and absorbing, but very depressing. It was a totally new viewpoint of the West.
Jan 02, 2016 GREG J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is mcmurtry on steroids. greg Matthews is that good. just don't expect any happy endings and you may learn how a tragedy can still be a fulfilling read.
Eric Brown
Eric Brown rated it liked it
Dec 04, 2016
Lyn Anderson
Lyn Anderson rated it liked it
Nov 17, 2010
Alissa rated it really liked it
Jul 22, 2009
Frederick Federer
Frederick Federer rated it really liked it
Dec 13, 2016
Alethea Williams
Alethea Williams rated it really liked it
Feb 08, 2014
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